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Legends On Deck

An Innocent Bystander

“Send Lawyers, Guns and Money…” – Warren Zevon

Reggie Jackson was traded yesterday.

No, the cold front which has blanketed Florida spring training locations over the last several days has not magically turned back the clock to April 2nd, 1976 when Earl Weaver‘s Baltimore Orioles obtained “Mr. October” from the Athletics in a multi-player deal which sent Don Baylor to Oakland a week before opening day.

This Reggie Jackson is a former Boston College basketball star who was dealt from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Detroit Pistons on the NBA’s trade deadline day, a day that saw 36 players change hands between 11 different teams.

Meanwhile, talks in the Boston Red Sox camp on Friday continued to swirl around Cole Hamels expressed desire to pitch for a winning team, and possibly for a winning team in Fenway Park. One wonders if questions about Hamels future will be answered by Cliff Lee‘s Magic 8 Ball which made it’s debut at yesterday’s press conference in Clearwater. Stay tuned..

cliff lee

The Red Sox historically have not been involved in many high profile spring training deals. On March 30th, 1978 at Chain O’Lakes Stadium news of a trade sending catcher Bo Diaz, infielder Ted Cox and pitchers Rick Wise and Mike Paxton to the Indians for All Star starter Dennis Eckersley was met with Sox lefthander Bill Lee famously shouting the words penned by Warren Zevon above. Two years later, Zevon would write a song about Bill Lee.

On March 29th 1986, Boston acquired designated hitter Don Baylor (he of the ’76 Reggie Jackson trade) for Mike Easler, adding a key piece to the Red Sox eventual American League championship team that season.

As Red Sox pitchers and catchers went through their physicals on the morning of the first official reporting date, Bennett’s Donuts, a spring training staple officially made their first appearance in the JetBlue Park press box.Bennett's 2015

Despite the cold temperatures in Florida on Friday, it is still warmer than most of the rest of the country, so college baseball is already in full swing, with northern teams making their annual spring trips.

Rutgers University played a four game series last weekend at the University of Miami., Vanderbilt University moved a three game series this weekend versus Indiana State from Nashville to the Tampa Bay Rays spring home in Port Charlotte beginning Friday night at 5PM.

And both the Red Sox and Twins will be playing northern college teams for their first spring training games, the Sox playing both Northeastern University and Boston College on March 3rd and the Twins facing the University of Minnesota the following evening. In central Florida, the annual RussMatt Collegiate Baseball Classic features Division II, III and NAIA teams for the duration of spring training.

In an unrelated college baseball story Wednesday night in Tampa, University of Florida righthander Brett Morales threw six perfect innings against the University of South Florida. Morales threw 70 pitches (leaving on a pitch count issue) and struck out seven.

Another Morales, former Red Sox lefthander Franklin Morales signed a minor league contract with Kansas City yesterday, and ex Sox reliever David Aardsma inked a deal with the Dodgers. Both will be given invites to major league camp.

Brian Mullen

Brian is a Boston native and art school student who took a summer job with a baseball team and never left. He has been employed by the Boston Red Sox in one capacity or another since 1982. He also follows and blogs college basketball. Follow him on Twitter @BostonBrian2015